Hitchin Symphony Orchestra
Hitchin Symphony Orchestra's motto, 'Promoting Live Music', sums up our passion and goal as an orchestra. Bringing a high standard of symphonic concerts to Hitchin audiences, we enjoy a well-earned reputation for imaginative programming. We are especially pleased to offer a concert platform for local musicians – both orchestral players and soloists.
Our concert on 18 November 2023 will open with César Cui’s Petite Suite No. 3, which is an exciting smorgasbord of fluctuating moods and forms. The work sits neatly within the unmistakeable aesthetic of his contemporaries, the so-called ‘Mighty Handful’ of 19th century composers who set about curating a distinctively Russian style. This will be followed by Schubert’s Symphony No. 6, which, although one of his later symphonies, was composed when Schubert was in his early twenties so still abounds with levity and youth. The second half will start with Charles Ives’ landmark The Unanswered Question, which stacks harshly contrasting musical elements, operating at different speeds, on top of one another. The effect is both jarring and haunting as a solo trumpet ponders the ‘perennial question of existence’, striving in vain for a definitive answer. For the concert’s finale we are absolutely thrilled to be performing Schumann’s Piano Concerto with Cordelia Williams. One of the composer’s most poignant and subtly articulated works, the concerto was so praised by its dedicatee and premiere soloist, Clara Schumann: ‘... how rich in invention, how interesting from the beginning to the end, how fresh and what a beautiful coherent whole!’.
On 13 May 2023 we were delighted to bring our audience two contrasting snapshots from the late Romantic symphonic canon, composed either side of the turn of the 20th century. Thanks to Levande Musikarv (Swedish Musical Heritage), we had the privilege of performing a brand-new edition of Wilhelm Stenhammar’s monumental Symphony No. 2, published in early 2023. The 1915 work marks a rejection of the Brucknerian spoils of Stenhammar’s Symphony No. 1 – a work he withdrew from performance – and fully embraces a style more akin to his fellow Nordic contemporaries, Sibelius and Nielsen. The resulting work combines exceptional compositional rigour and direct emotional charge; Stenhammar's heart is very much on his sleeve during every moment of this immense musical structure. From 1889 comes Dvořák’s effervescent Symphony No. 8. Bursting with familiar melody, the composer’s reverence for Bohemian folk forms is ever-present. Turning away from the taxing tumult of the Seventh Symphony, the Eighth explores poignant vignettes of melancholy, warmth and levity, before culminating in a finale of unbridled and incandescent optimism.
To find out more, please visit our Concerts page.
We are always keen to hear from instrumentalists looking to join an exciting and friendly orchestra in North Hertfordshire. At present we would particularly like to hear from cellists and double bass players looking to play with an orchestra.
For more information see the Join Us page.
Patrons of HSO
Our Patrons help support the continued development of the orchestra and this allows our audiences to enjoy new and exciting programmes and soloists. We are very grateful to the members of our Patrons scheme.
If you would like to join the scheme and get discounted concert tickets, please see the Support Us page.